Online dating market trends
The industry decided to self-regulate and created a Code of Practice.
As George Kidd, Director and Chief Executive at the ODA, explains: “ This has been an important step towards creating a regulatory framework that addresses the challenges that the sector faces as it grows.
This is in contrast to the advertising model, which is usually free to join and use, with sites earning money through online advertising.
A British company which operates under the advertising model is Free uk, founded by Dan Winchester.
The CEO of Tinder, Sean Rad, has proudly said that their app has already generated 45 million matches (not couples).
However, certain mainstream sites also offer app-based products.
In the online sphere, the identities and characteristics of individuals can be hidden or falsified.
And although it has been argued by the media that users of unpaid sites may be less committed to finding a long-term partner, or that these sites may be less safe, this is not always the case.
In the UK, the Online Dating Association (ODA) was set up by industry members in 2013, as they took collective responsibility for their market and operations.It remains to be seen whether regulators start to take steps to implement new regulation specifically directed at online dating sites.However, government intervention currently seems less likely, because the industry has been proactive through developing a set of rules that online dating providers (who are members of the ODA) must adhere to.They generally offer their services for a fixed monthly payment, although members can typically sign up for free.These sites also tend to offer additional services, such as background checks or real-world events.